It’s time to get honest. Or at least that’s my prayer for you in the New Year.
I’m not sure about you, but over the past few years, I found myself in a race. A race for a finish that I was convinced God was calling me to. I did what I learned and I believe I did it well. Now, please don’t misunderstand. I love to set goals. I love to reach them. I love to better myself. I love to work hard at something that I’m passionate about. But in the mix of all of that love for forging ahead, one can get lost in three small letters. EGO. At least that’s where I found myself. Maybe you can relate. If you’re honest.
Where do the feelings of guilt come from when we feel like our goals aren’t big enough, our race isn’t fast enough? Who are we trying to please? Who are we trying to catch? What are we trying to prove? Seriously sit and ask yourself these questions.
It took some guts to listen to the pressings on my heart in the last year. The uncertainty can be crippling and yes, I let it cripple me for a short time. I knew that God was speaking, although I didn’t hear Him in a loud voice from the clouds. Be Still. That’s all. I just felt it, over and over again. Enough already, He pressed. And pressed. It took awhile, but finally I allowed myself to breathe. And I got honest. With myself first, and then my family. And then He began to open my eyes to all of the ways that those three letters were controlling my life.
I heard Christine Caine speak recently and she said this about the Lord speaking to us. “What if I call you and YOUR dream is not what I’m calling you to do? Would you be ok with that?”
How many of us would? How many of us stop and pay attention to what’s being laid on our hearts? We have big dreams. I know many of my friends that do. I think it’s amazing. But ‘what if’ God’s dream for you isn’t your dream? Will you stop and listen? Or will you be too caught up in your race?
I have participated in a ‘one word’ challenge each year. Pick one word that you want to define your year. In 2015, I picked the word BOLD. It’s interesting looking back. My reasons for picking ‘bold’, what I thought that was going to mean, isn’t what it meant at all. Oh I was bold, but not in the ways I thought I would be. I was bold to step away from associations and methods that weren’t serving me. I was bold to get past the fear of not worrying about what everyone would say. Believe me, they said things. I know. It’s ok. In the ‘race’, I would have probably said things too. Well let’s get honest – I DID say things. So I give you grace. I hope you give me some too, along with some forgiveness. It wasn’t my place to judge your journey. It’s not your place to judge mine.
I am here to tell you that it’s just plain A-OK to be content with where you are. To re-group, to breathe and to maybe even CHANGE. When things that were once passions become frustrations, maybe God is telling you that another road is being paved. Another path. Truly the hardest part is waiting for it all to come together. But God’s plans always do.
I don’t know if you relate to my journey. Reading this might make you angry because you just love your race and it’s what you want. That’s ok. I did once too and I understand. It might make you sad. Knowing that people will be disappointed in you is hard. But please know that just because God has called one to a particular finish line doesn’t mean that he’s called all of us to it.
What I pray is that I’m speaking to someone out there just like me that may need to just get downright HONEST with yourself in 2016. Hear me. You’re going to be ok, no matter what they say. What God says about you is the only thing that matters. The only person that you are here to serve is the Lord. Far too many of us are serving other masters.
My ‘one word’ for this year is ‘servant’. Christine Caine also said that “The highest thing we can ever do is to aspire to be servant of the Lord.” I am there. I challenge you to listen and hear your call too.
My goals for this year are a bit different than in years past. It’s my 40th year and I am ready to embrace the things that I truly love. I’ll be spending a lot of time on my yoga mat in that hot room dedicating myself to a daily practice that I let go of for way too many years. I’ll be spending quiet time with books. I let go of those too. I plan to read through the bible this year, as my friend Billy challenged me to do. Go on monthly date nights with my husband. Support my children with their passions and activities. Spend A LOT of time with my friends. Strengthen relationships in my Small Group. Serve and lead at our church. And my goodness, by the grace of God, please let my husband allow me to get a Golden Retriever. My goal this year isn’t a position or a dollar amount. And I’ve never felt so at peace in my life with the uncertainty of it all.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Happy New Year, my friends!